Album review: Vanessa Carlton's 'Rabbits on the Run'
There’s no missing the artistic ambition underlying Vanessa Carlton’s latest, “Rabbits on the Run,” recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in England under the supervision of producer Pete Osborne, known for his work with the likes of Doves, U2 and New Order.
At 30, the singer-songwriter has left behind the petty concerns of adolescence. Her explorations of love gone awry, of a woman in search of her place, are washed in strings that surround her own piano, treated to sound just out of tune enough to be atmospheric rather than annoying. Her thin voice is bolstered with reverb that often gives it the sense of emerging from the center of a large, empty room.
Carlton’s lyrics, however, swing from endearingly honest to precious to occasionally clumsy, and the Coldplay-Snow Patrol-Elbow sonics start to feel repetitive well before the 10 songs run their course. She clearly wanted to craft a grand-scale melodic-pop opus, but she hasn’t delivered stories and emotions commensurate with the panoramic production work.
“Rabbits on the Run”
(Razor & Tie)
Two and a half stars
— Randy Lewis